DUBUQUE, Iowa—Natalie Hazewinkel will pull her car over to help a bird struggling on the side of a road.
She won’t hesitate to bring stray cats to her local humane society.
Once, she even helped a raccoon.
“I have a passion for animals,” the Dupaco member said. “I love them.”
Naturally, Natalie stumbled into a career where her clients are … dogs. At her mom’s suggestion, she began shadowing a Dubuque groomer and eventually became one herself in 2018.
As Natalie cut and styled her clients’ fur, a whisper of a thought started to take hold: Maybe she could own a grooming business someday.
Seizing an opportunity
The whisper became a shout when her employer made plans to sell the business, and another property became available.
“The opportunity came up, and I needed to jump on it,” Natalie said.
She began working with Dupaco’s Chad Breitsprecker to get ready to open a full-service grooming business in Dubuque.
Chad connected Natalie with a business coach to help her create a business plan. He offered advice. And he cheered her on every step of the way.
“It would have never been able to happen without Dupaco,” Natalie said. “Chad’s been by my side this whole time. And he’s given me a lot of good tips and tricks to make the penny go a little further.”
Natalie opened Club Pawsh Grooming in November 2022.
Her first client? A white teddy bear pup she groomed on her first day as a groomer four years ago.
Dreaming about the future
Since then, she’s taken on many returning clients. And she’s learning lessons and dreaming about her business’ future as she goes.
An unexpected furnace malfunction taught Natalie just how important saving is—for yourself and your business. She worked with Dupaco to get the funds she needed to repair her furnace.
And she’s dreaming of just how far she can take Club Pawsh Grooming.
“This little building is a great start. But I can only have one other groomer with me,” she said. “In the future, I would love to have a self-serve pet wash for pet parents.”